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Top Chef: Texas – Ep 11 – Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall, Who’s The Most Talented Of Them All?

Sarah- Amarone Risotto with Lamb Heart – She chose to make the risotto blood red and rest the vulnerable heart upon it. I thought this idea was kind of lame, but it was at least within the parameters of the challenge. Also, many a cheftestant has lost thanks to risotto –it’s the dessert of non-desserts – and she was dinged for her own version earlier this season. It just seemed to be an odd choice. Ripert liked it, and Tom said it was quite delicious. Theron joked that she must be the Evil Queen because she is digging eating the heart.

Grayson – Black Chicken with Beets, Quail Egg, and Foie Gras – Wow. Grayson continued to be a very literal interpreter of challenges. You want evil? She’ll give you evil. She took a black chicken, which looks scary naturally, like one of those Gulf Coast BP-marinated oil birds. Her concept was to make it look as if it was slaughtered. She pulled it off. Her description of the dish to the judges was classic. The bird was slaughtered, the beets represented the blood, she left the gnarly clawed feet on for effect. Oh, yeah, the fried egg represeted the unborn bird child within. Wow. Theron said it through giggles – “you went there.” Theron said it was crispy and delicious, and Tom said it was very full of flavor. Theron thought the beets’ vinegar was amazing. Ripert wanted to hand the claw on the chandelier. What are these judges drinking?!?

Glasses – Poisoned Apple and Cherry Pie – His tricks came in handy this week. He took the apple and loaded it up with “maggots” and “worms” and used liquid nitrogen to give it a smoky sauce upon table service. Tom cut into the apple and it fell away parfectly. Theron loved the cinammon and Tom said that this meal was “so him.” Glasses’ tricks finally makes sense.

Tom called it the most exciting meal of the season, and Ripert said it was his best one ever on Top Chef!
I’ll skate through Judges Table because the seven dishes were all great. Paul got the win, but really, it could have gone to anyone. Sarah, Grayson and Beverly wound up on the bottom – Grayson deserving that fate the least. In what I believe was a choice between Sarah and Bev turned into Bev getting the axe. The nitpicks for each were the undercooked risotto vs. Grayson’s salty greens vs. Bev’ssticky sauce.

Next, on RILCK, Nyesha gets Beverly and exudes overconfidence. Why these chefs constantly underestimate Beverly is a sociology experiment waiting to happen. Tom asks the eliminated chefs who they think will win. Of course, Heather leads the anti-Beverly charge, and all of them predict a Nyesha win.

The challenge is to cook black drum, but the trick is that they only get one trip to the pantry to get ingredients and equipment. Upon starting the meal, Tom ran in and told them to switch places. Nyesha was pissed – she felt she set up Beverly with a perfect meal and inherited Beverly’s sloppy work station. This twist completely threw her off her game, and Bev’s Asian style is not Nyesha’s. Meanwhile, Beverly was able to adapt to Nyesha’s style much better.

Nyesha – Seared Black Drum with Julienne of Tri-Pepper, Slaw and Pineapple Chutney

Beverly – Seared Black Drum with Oranges, Fennel and Black Olives

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